Academy Bugs

Larger than life and stunning to behold, the critters of our special exhibit Xtreme Bugs make their debut at the Academy on May 26!

These animatronic insects are headed here for a reason: Entomology has played a part in the Academy of Natural Sciences since its founding in 1812.

Our Entomology Department’s collections currently contain more than 3,500,000 specimens, of which more than 11,000 are primary types, and represent over 100,000 species. Some specimens were collected as recently as this past week. Others are over two centuries old. Researchers use the collections to study how to tell different insects apart, to discover new species, to understand insect biology, ecology and evolution and to understand changes in habitat and climate due to man’s activities.

In our public museum, insects are everywhere! You can see dozens of different species of insects on display, including butterflies, tarantulas, walking sticks, grasshoppers and maybe even praying mantis. In our Outside In exhibit, you can see over 30 species of live insects and other arthropods and find a real hive where you can observe live bees in action.

The Academy hosts an annual Bug Fest (August 11 and 12, 2018), where the museum is filled with live arthropods. For this year’s event, we are planning new activities and shows and we will revisit some old favorites—back by popular demand. You can talk with real scientists, learn about insects from all over the world and see specimens from the Academy’s behind-the-scenes collections. Eat bugs, get your face painted and relax as you enjoy a buggy show. Learn more about our annual buggy festival!

Learn more about bugs at the Academy by watching the video below. And hear from invert expert and Academy educator Karen Verderame, and curatorial assistant in entomology Isa Betancourt!

Video by John Hutelmeyer/ANS

Photos by Mike Servedio/ANS

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